5. There used to be a Pizza Hut in a historic 1896 trolley barn

Trolley barn in Woodside

The Tower Square Shopping Center features a Michael’s, Starbucks, and a perhaps out-of-place structure: a trolley barn. The trolley barn, which is now empty but used to host a Pizza Hut, was built in 1896 for the New York and Queens Railroad Company. The building served trolley cars from Flushing, College Point, Jamaica, and Long Island City, and was the site of the largest carbarn in Queens. Inscriptions on the facade still read “NY AND QUEENS CO., RYI CO” and “WAITING ROOM.”

The formation of the Independent Subway System and the expansion of buses led trolley companies to go bankrupt, and the building serviced the last trolley in around 1937. In the 1980s, plans to tear down the building came to a dramatic halt when a stop-work order was issued minutes after a bulldozer began working on the clocktower in 1987. Community preservationists rallied to save the building then and still work to protect its architectural integrity.